Table of Contents: The Mice Drawer System Experiment and the Space Endurance Record-Breaking Mice


Image Credit: Lizzy Parisotto
Issue Image

The ability to live for long periods in the absence of normal gravity (G) requires comprehensive understanding of structural and functional changes that occur in the bodies of humans and other mammals. The Italian Space Agency contracted Thales Alenia Space Italia to build a spaceflight payload (Mice Drawer System (MDS)) for mice research on the International Space Station (ISS), including wild type and transgenic strains. The first MDS experiment was launched with the STS-128 Discovery on 28 August 2009, and returned 91 days later on the STS-129 Atlantis. Three of the six mice survived, exhibiting appropriate behavior in flight and appearing in excellent health at landing, and to date became the mammals with the longest exposure to μG other than humans. After the flight, a replica of the experiment, maintaining the MDS at normal gravity (ground controls), was performed in Genova from November 2009 to February 2010. These studies examined changes that occurred in the flight animals in a wide range of physiological systems, such as muscle, bone, organs and glands, blood, brain (and behavior), and neurosensory, and collectively offer an integrative view of the mammal's physiological response to μG. The joint experiments involved scientists from 6 nations, reflecting international collaboration and cooperation to reach a scientific goal.

Adapted from Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ISS image) and Wikipedia User: Rasbak (mouse image), published under GNU Free Documentation License

Collection Citation: The Mice Drawer System Experiment and the Space Endurance Record-Breaking Mice (2012) PLoS Collections:


The Mice Drawer System (MDS) Experiment and the Space Endurance Record-Breaking Mice

Ranieri Cancedda, Yi Liu, Alessandra Ruggiu, Sara Tavella, Roberta Biticchi, Daniela Santucci, Silvia Schwartz, Paolo Ciparelli, Giancarlo Falcetti, Chiara Tenconi, Vittorio Cotronei, Salvatore Pignataro

Research Articles

Effects of Pleiotrophin Overexpression on Mouse Skeletal Muscles in Normal Loading and in Actual and Simulated Microgravity

Giulia Maria Camerino, Sabata Pierno, Antonella Liantonio, Michela De Bellis, Maria Cannone, Valeriana Sblendorio, Elena Conte, Antonietta Mele, Domenico Tricarico, Sara Tavella, Alessandra Ruggiu, Ranieri Cancedda, Yoshinobu Ohira, Daniela Danieli-Betto, Stefano Ciciliot, Elena Germinario, Dorianna Sandonà, Romeo Betto, Diana Conte Camerino, Jean-François Desaphy

Spaceflight Influences both Mucosal and Peripheral Cytokine Production in PTN-Tg and Wild Type Mice

Justin L. McCarville, Sandra T. Clarke, Padmaja Shastri, Yi Liu, Martin Kalmokoff, Stephen P. J. Brooks, Julia M. Green-Johnson

Loss of Parafollicular Cells during Gravitational Changes (Microgravity, Hypergravity) and the Secret Effect of Pleiotrophin

Elisabetta Albi, Francesco Curcio, Renza Spelat, Andrea Lazzarini, Remo Lazzarini, Samuela Cataldi, Elisabetta Loreti, Ivana Ferri, Francesco Saverio Ambesi-Impiombato

Evaluation of Gene, Protein and Neurotrophin Expression in the Brain of Mice Exposed to Space Environment for 91 Days

Daniela Santucci, Fuminori Kawano, Takashi Ohira, Masahiro Terada, Naoya Nakai, Nadia Francia, Enrico Alleva, Luigi Aloe, Toshimasa Ochiai, Ranieri Cancedda, Katsumasa Goto, Yoshinobu Ohira

The Impact of Long-Term Exposure to Space Environment on Adult Mammalian Organisms: A Study on Mouse Thyroid and Testis

Maria Angela Masini, Elisabetta Albi, Cristina Barmo, Tommaso Bonfiglio, Lara Bruni, Laura Canesi, Samuela Cataldi, Francesco Curcio, Marta D'Amora, Ivana Ferri, Katsumasa Goto, Fuminori Kawano, Remo Lazzarini, Elisabetta Loreti, Naoya Nakai, Takashi Ohira, Yoshinobu Ohira, Silvio Palmero, Paola Prato, Franco Ricci, Linda Scarabelli, Tsubasa Shibaguchi, Renza Spelat, Felice Strollo, Francesco Saverio Ambesi-Impiombato

Adaptation of Mouse Skeletal Muscle to Long-Term Microgravity in the MDS Mission

Dorianna Sandonà, Jean-Francois Desaphy, Giulia M. Camerino, Elisa Bianchini, Stefano Ciciliot, Daniela Danieli-Betto, Gabriella Dobrowolny, Sandra Furlan, Elena Germinario, Katsumasa Goto, Martina Gutsmann, Fuminori Kawano, Naoya Nakai, Takashi Ohira, Yoshitaka Ohno, Anne Picard, Michele Salanova, Gudrun Schiffl, Dieter Blottner, Antonio Musarò, Yoshinobu Ohira, Romeo Betto, Diana Conte, Stefano Schiaffino

Bone Turnover in Wild Type and Pleiotrophin-Transgenic Mice Housed for Three Months in the International Space Station (ISS)

Sara Tavella, Alessandra Ruggiu, Alessandra Giuliani, Francesco Brun, Barbara Canciani, Adrian Manescu, Katia Marozzi, Michele Cilli, Delfina Costa, Yi Liu, Federica Piccardi, Roberta Tasso, Giuliana Tromba, Franco Rustichelli, Ranieri Cancedda

Effects of Long-Term Space Flight on Erythrocytes and Oxidative Stress of Rodents

Angela Maria Rizzo, Paola Antonia Corsetto, Gigliola Montorfano, Simona Milani, Stefania Zava, Sara Tavella, Ranieri Cancedda, Bruno Berra